Writer: Athaya Hardono | Illustrator: Safira Marini | Editor: Christoforus Reynaldo
It's the fifth month into the COVID lockdown, and some of us have desperately needed a change of scene. If your days have been laden with repetitive activities, you might want to consider trying something new to keep you imbued with a wealth of insight and inspiration. We figured that some of you may have come to a dead-end when it comes to new ideas for things to do, so we're here to give you tips on ways to boost your productivity and improve your wellbeing at home!
1. Enroll in an Online Class
With tons of time to spare, now is probably the best time for you to extend your knowledge and hone your skills through courses you could easily find on the web. Whether it's to make your CV stand out from the crowd or just to satisfy your curiosity, time spent on learning is never a waste of time. You've probably heard of free diverse learning websites like EdX, Coursera and Udemy, so here are other kick-ass sites that you might want to consider checking out:
General College & University-level: MIT OpenCourseWare, Open Yale Courses, Stanford Online
Certification & For-credit Eligible Courses: Harvard Business School Online, Cornell School of Continuing Education Online Courses, Oxford University Department of Continuing Education Online Courses, LSE Online Certificate Courses
International Organization-affiliated Courses: World Bank Open Learning Campus, IMF Online Learning, WTO e-learning
Subject-focused Courses: CFI Free Finance Courses, CFA Institute Investment Foundations Program, Stanford Engineering Everywhere, Dave Conservatoire, Hack Design
2. Engage in Virtual Internships and Volunteering
If learning by doing is something you'd prefer to do, virtual internships and volunteering might be the solution for you! One platform that has gained a lot of traction recently is InsideSherpa. From law, tech to finance, InsideSherpa gives its users an array of program options to choose from, giving them the ultimate internship experience from prominent companies in its respective fields — namely BCG, KPMG, Citibank, and Microsoft. If you're feeling rather philanthropic, you might want to consider UN Online Volunteering, a platform that connects volunteers with eligible non-profit organizations working for peace and developments through volunteer listings. The platform also provides guidance and support on how to organize the online collaboration, thus optimizing the push toward sustainable development.
3. Start Your Own Business
This next trend does not only boost your productivity, but it will also put some extra bucks in your pocket. During these dire times where everyone has to stay home, and most businesses are closed, there's an imminent demand for products that can be easily acquired from a customer's fingertips and delivered right to their doorsteps. What you can do is jump right to the opportunity and start an online business!
A few months back, one of our fellow APUIna members, Oubrey, has started an online business of her own called Saikako, an Instagram-based shop selling reworked garments. Here are a couple of words from Oubrey on staying productive at home through starting a business:
"Quarantine has given me the chance to explore more about myself; broaden my knowledge, find new interests, and learn new skills. I experienced a different kind of productiveness throughout this ‘quarantine season’ as if we are moving at least five times faster towards the future where everything, even traveling (maybe, who knows), can be done virtually. You can be productive even though you are at home. For me, turning my hobby into a business is one of the ways to keep myself productive and my sanity in check."
4. Set-up a Workout Routine
Since summer is coming round the corner, setting a workout routine and getting back in shape to shed off those winter weights might be another option for you to do at home! Working out goes beyond weight loss — decades of research has proven that exercising gives a plethora of benefits for the body and brain. For instance, aerobic exercise is claimed to be able to trigger the growth of new brain cells, reducing chances for dementia. Working out regularly could also regulate serotonin levels, a hormone that sends signals between your nerve cells. Serotonin impacts every part of your body, and is considered a mood-stabilizer that could improve your overall sense of well-being, thus a natural anti-depressant.
Here are some crowd-favorite videos on YouTube to spice up your workout routine!
MadFit's 15 Min TikTok Dance Party Workout:15 MIN TIKTOK DANCE PARTY WORKOUT - Full Body/No Equipment
Pamela Reif's 15 Minute Dance Cardio Workout (80s Edition): 15 MIN DANCE CARDIO WORKOUT - 80s EDITION, burn calories and be happy / No Equipment I Pamela Reif
Chloe Ting's Abs Workout Challenge: Get Abs in 2 WEEKS | Abs Workout Challenge
5. Do Lots of Arts!
Art is one of the best ways that you could do anytime, from anywhere to improve your overall well being. The healing power of art has been clinically proven and has been applied in various cases to ease depression. A case in point, coloring has been used as a medium to gently transition military veterans suffering from Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). More research suggested that creating art can promote problem-solving skills and enhance creativity that could stave off cognitive decline.
Arts is not merely painting and coloring. There's a whole other form of arts that you can do and enjoy — sculpting, photography, singing, dancing, expressive writing, and gardening is just a few of many others. Even if the research claims did not come off very accurately, doing art should take your mind off things momentarily, giving you the chance to focus on the better things in life.